Here are the stills from the WSOL project. Even though the animation was done in v-ray, I chose to do the stills in mental ray. In the end, I preferred the lighting quality I was getting out of mental ray over v-ray. I even ran some iray tests on a Tesla C2075, and the mr results were very close to iray. Because I only have 1 dedicated GPU for rendering, I still prefer to use conventional CPU methods. For me it's still faster.
This model became a little cumbersome near the end as the building had 3 floors and the exterior and interior renderings all came from the same model. It was primarily modeled in SketchUp. The foliage, people, and entourage are an assortment of max library files.
Most lighting is done with the mr Daylight System, with addition of photometric lights and mr sky portals for the inside of the building. For indirect illumination I used the combination of photon mapping and final gather. For the indoor renderings the sun was set to around 1pm to get strong light into the windows. For the exterior renderings, I adjusted the sun to 7pm to give more dramatic shadows and warm tones.
For sampling I used unified sampling to give me detail in far away objects, and faster renders with motion blur. I keyframed the movement of the people so I could get true 3D blur. These were all rendered at 4000px, with an 8 core Xeon with times varying from 1 hour - 4 hours.